Date Written: June 13, 2013
Date Preached: June16, 2013
Where Preached: OPBC (AM)
Series Title: Giving Our All
Sermon Title: "Dadly" Stewardship
Sermon Text: Eph 5:1 [NLT]
1Imitate God, therefore in everything you do, because you are His dear children!
Over the past two weeks we have looked at stewardship and learned that true biblical stewardship revolves around a very basic foundational truth of -- God Owns it All!
ALSO we have learned that we are ALL stewards… and caretakers of all the resources God provides for His glory and for His kingdom... they are NOT for our own personal gain/pleasure, but for svc to Him...
Today we are also celebrating our Fathers! Today we celebrate who our Dads are & what our Dads mean to us…
But this morning I also want to CHALLENGE to each and EVERY dad sitting in this room… so if you are a dad/granddad sitting here & you have a son who is a dad… I challenge you to pass on this challenge to them as well!
Our passage this morning is Eph 5 with a slight peak into Eph 6 and when we look at this passage today we find Paul laying out an overall template for living the Christian life! He tells us to be imitators of God which is a very general and vague command!
Let me explain what I mean by that… Think about the phrase ‘imitators of God’ and how impossible that really is… After all, we cannot speak ANYTHING into existence! ALSO, we do NOT have power over life and death! We cannot do ANYTHING God has done from His divine and holy throne…yet we are to imitate Him?
Let me share what Paul was speaking about here in this passage… It is that we must imitate God in His holiness…
God has called us ALL to be holy witnesses for Him! We must remember that the word ‘holy’ means to be set apart for God’s purposes!
So in ch5 we find that Paul lays out the most general guidelines for serving God and only THEN does he begin to narrow down that template and see it through the lens of Christ… Paul begins to describe some very specific roles within the Christian family...
So with that in mind, what we can basically learn from what Paul says here is that there is a definite order of things in how we live our lives as believers.
Basically what we can see here is Paul saying that being a good Christian will always point a man to becoming a good husband, but it doesn’t guarantee you will become a good husband!
Also that being a good Christian & husband will always point a man toward good and godly fatherhood… being the dad God desires you to be, but once again, that in and of itself cannot ever guarantee you will become a good husband!
We also cannot overlook the contextual approach Paul uses here in that he is pointing out very a specific order on what God expects and how these things play out in the lives of believing fathers!
In reading these verses from Paul the conclusion is that to be a good Christian father, a man must be a good Christian husband and for a man to be a good Christian husband... that man has to be a good & faithful Christian!
When it comes to the word ‘good’ the world sees things quite different than God does! With the world, ‘good’ is doing what looks good in the eyes of humanity and what is relative to each situation…
In other words, my good may not be your good… or your good may not be MY good! Many in the world believe that a man can be a good dad & husband & a good person without God!
But for those of us who know God's Word, we know that you don't 'clean up' and come to God... we are TOTALLY unable to clean up enough to come to God pure...
For God to clean us and wash us clean, we must FIRST surrender our sinful hearts thru confession and repentance! It is THEN that God will begin the process of 'cleaning' our hearts and using us for His kingdom!
As Dads we are called by God as stewards of some of the most precious resources that God provides… our wives and our children! So what do I mean when I say "Dadly" Stewardship?
Stand Sure – v2-20:
Dad you must be consistent in who you are in Christ!
Have you ever come across into someone who was NOT consistent in their actions!
Not long ago a poll was taken and it revealed that MANY Americans held beliefs that were very inconsistent!
In other words, there are MANY Americans who are seeking God and profess that they are on a spiritual journey, but they seem to be doing this without a map.
This poll cited that 80% of Americans agree that an individual should arrive at his or her own religious beliefs independent of any church or synagogue. 80%!!
This poll also found that 1 out of every 3 Americans defined spirituality without God or any higher moral authority.
But yet this same poll revealed that 84% of Americans believe that God performs miracles and 79% believe the miracles described in the Bible actually happened. Where is the consistency here?
When we look deeper into this poll we find that only 40% of Americans go to church on any sort of a regular basis!
This means that there are almost 4 of every 10 Americans who claim to believe in the miracles of the Bible, but they do not go to church.
Another sad aspect of this poll is that even with many professing belief in the miracles of the Bible this poll reveals that only 1 in 3 actually believe that the Bible is the actual word of God and is to be taken literally, word for word.
In our society there is much inconsistency and inconsistency on your part will destroy your marriage, it will destroy your family and it will destroy your children!
We must become dads who stands SURE in our faith and dads that are consistent in living out our faith…
Dads we are to stand SURE in our Savior [v2]
2Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered Himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God.
Love was the theme of the life of Jesus and as a dad who is a believer our lives must be focused around the love of God flowing thru who we are in God’s calling on our lives! We are called to be imitators of God… we are called to use Jesus as our example!
How is your life an example of Christ? Are you consistent in your love for those around you? Are you consistent in how you live out your life in Christ each day? Are you standing sure in the Savior you profess as your Lord?
But dads not only are we called to stand sure in our Savior but we can also see where we are called to stand Sure in the salvation we profess…[v8-9]
8For once you were full of darkness, but now you have light from the Lord. So live as people of light! 9For this light within you produces only what is good and right and true!
We all know where we have come from… we know what God has done in our lives! We know that God has called us to be salt and light in the world around us… the question is are we standing SURE in that calling!
We have been saved from darkness to light by the Savior… we have been granted God’s salvation thru God’s grace… the question for us is are we being consistent in living out that salvation in the world around us!
Dads we are called to be CONSISTENT in our actions and SURE in our standing with the Savior…what is your life like today? Are you standing sure? Are you living to the example of Christ and standing SURE on the Savior you profess?
Are you standing sure? Are you projecting the salvation you have been granted thru living it out to the world around you? Are you consistent in your walk in Christ? ARE YOU STANDING SURE?
Dad’s we are called to stand SURE in God’s kingdom, but we are also called to:
Stand Shameless – v21-33 plus 6:4:
Shameless is a word that we don’t use a lot in our society today unless we are describing something that is socially unacceptable…
However, what I mean when I say that dads are called to Stand Shameless is that as dads we have a holy calling… and in that godly and holy calling we have as husbands and fathers there is NO SHAME!
In v21 describes an overall picture of what the attitude of any believer is to be… we are called to submit! First to God and then here Paul tells us that we are called to submit to each other!
We are not called to submit to others because they are better or more spiritual than we are, but we are called to submit out of reverence and obedience to the Savior we serve!
If we are SURE about our Savior and SURE about our Salvation then we must we stand shamelessly in submission before the Lord and in relationship with one another!
In our culture today, submission is FROWNED upon and seen as a negative station in life! Most of us know what submission is, but we do it grudgingly and unwillingly!
BUT, what Scripture says about the believer is that we are called to submit to Christ and then to submit to one another out of our love and respect for our Savior!
If we are sure of our Savior we must be willing to submit IN HIS PLAN!
For the most part, most believers don’t have an issue with the general sense of submission to God OR even to fellow believers… but usually we are only willing to submit to those we believe are superior or more experienced than we are…
But what Scripture tells us here is that we are all called into submission to each other, regardless of our position in life or station in society!
Dads, as believers we are called to Stand Shameless… willing to submit to our fellow believers out of our love and respect for our Savior!
But this 1st verse about being shameless and submission is really a very broad and overall Christian command! We can see that Paul gets to a more significant and specific task of submission in our next verse… he focuses in on DADs!
Paul/Christ calls us to Stand Shameless in loving our spouse! Dads, we are called to love our wife as Christ loved the church! Think about that statement…
Can you find a greater picture of humility?
Can you find a more SURE stance for God?
Can you find anyone standing more shamelessly FOR what God wants? than Jesus Himself?
Look at what Jesus has done for us? What He has done because OF His selfless and shameless love for us…
First, we see that Jesus laid aside His own importance for the church [read Phil 2:5-8]
He stood shameless in that He was willing to lay aside all of His own wants and desires to follow the will of the Father (read Luke 22:42)
Christ stood shameless when He went to the cross and took on the sin of the world to establish the church (read Heb 2:17) Christ actually embraced the shame because He knew what glory it would bring to God and what salvation it would bring to man!
Christ stood shameless thru showing that He loved all He came in contact with… with an unconditional love! Jesus initiated love, without expecting love in return (read John 3:16)
Dads we are called to stand SURE for Christ and to stand SHAMELESS in Christ…
Dads we are NOT called to comfort but instead we are called to stand in uncomfortable positions… positions of responsibility and teaching.
A position of maturity and leadership! As believers we are called to lead even though there will be those who mock and ridicule our beliefs and teachings!
We are called into positions where we will most often be in the vast MINORITY… so it can seem difficult… it WILL BE difficult at times! BUT regardless of how hard or difficult it may look, DADs we are called to stand TRUE to God’s Word!
God’s word calls us to submit one to another out of respect and reverence to Jesus, but it also means that we are called to submit ourselves on behalf of others…
Specifically this means our wives, whom we are called to love as Christ loved the church! How did Christ love the church? He loved the church so much he was willing to lay down His life for the sinners of this world!
He was willing to step out of glory and shed his royal role to become a servant whose only mission is the redemption of God’s greatest creation…
So dads, we must be willing to step out for Christ as well! If Jesus can do THIS for us… we must be willing to follow Him!
We can also find that as dads we are also called to be a good father, and Paul gives great examples of what a good and godly parent should look like…
He tells the fathers, “Do not exasperate or frustrate your children”
As dads we should strive for consistency in all we do!
As dads we HAVE TO submit to Truth [in Christ] but also submit to the spouse God has given TO us…
As dads we have to submit to the Faithfulness of God the Father…
As dads we must submit to the need for Forgiveness both from God and each other!
As dads we must submit in faithfulness to God that God will use me for His glory
As dads we can reveal our submission to God through how we ‘Train up our children in the teachings of the Lord’ but we must also:
Love/Learn God's word
Get to know God/God's mission
Obedience to God (thru your example)
Submission to God's calling
Surrender of self
Living a life of selfless sacrifice as Christ (you are the example for them)
Are you standing SURE this morning? Are you standing SHAMELESS this morning? Christ has called us to stand SURE and SHAMELESS in our faith and how we live out that faith to the world around us…
Today Dads I am challenging you to become the father and husband God has been calling you to become!
I believe we are called by God to Stand Sure & Shameless:
In our Church
In our Workplace, and
In our families…
It is NEVER too late to become the dad God wants you to be… Dads/Granddads I want you all to know that YOU can be the dad God has called you to become!
It doesn’t matter who you are, what you’ve done, where you’ve been… YOU CAN BECOME THE DAD GOD WANTS YOU TO BE!
Are you separated or divorced from your wife? This does NOT matter…you can STILL be used by God and become the dad wants you to be…
Maybe you can seek reconciliation and forgiveness in that relationship… Maybe you can be the catalyst for healing in that relationship…
Dads I challenge you to BE the DAD God wants you to be and let your children SEE you being that DAD… Let them see you step up SURE of your Faith and Shamelessly serving your Savior!
Are you out of touch with your family, your wife, or your children? Today there are so many dads who are out of touch with their families… that they have NO idea of how to reconnect!
If you are out of touch with your family… I want you to know that God still loves you and wants you to be a part of His kingdom!
God can and wants to help you reconnect with them… reconcile with them…even if the marriage is gone, you can STILL be the Dad God wants you to be!
Let me ask another question to our dads this morning? Are you too busy to be a good dad? Are you too distracted or never around when you are needed in the lives of your spouse OR children…
Surrender to God and allow Him to guide you… Maybe you have been too distracted or busy, but you can change that by listening to God today.
I want ANYONE hearing this sermon to know and understand that to be the daddy you are called to be by God… you have to stand sure in your faith and stand shamelessly in the Savior your serve!
It is NEVER too late to become the dad God wants you to become… Jesus says, “Come to me all who are weary and heavy laden and I will GIVE you rest!”
There are many of us here who feel as if we have the weight of the world on our shoulders when it comes to being a good dad or being a good husband, but let me share with you that when you come to Christ He has promised to BE there to help, to forgive and to save those who do NOT know Him!
It doesn’t matter where you are in life…
You can be a baby daddy or a husband who is faithful and trusted… EITHER way you are being called by God to serve Him as a godly Dad and it is never too late to start being the dad you are called to be!
Today, for all those who ARE NOT YET dads, I am challenging you to begin preparing yourselves for the time when God calls you to become a father…
I call on you to begin to preparing yourself to be the dad that stands sure of his faith and Savior… begin preparing yourself to be the dad that stands shamelessly in submission to God, to his wife and to his fellow believers!
If you stand sure in your faith… you will not go wrong!
If you stand shamelessly for your Savior and remain consistent in your walk in Christ, you will NOT lead your children down the wrong path and exasperate them…
So… Dad… Where do you stand this morning? Are you a dad God can use? OR are you a dad who seeks his own desires and way?
Men, I challenge us ALL to become men who STAND Sure in our faith and STAND Shameless for our Savior!
GIVE INVITATION here…